Since moving to the United States in 1995, Eri Yamamoto has established herself as one of jazz's most original and compelling pianists and composers. Jazz legend Herbie Hancock has said, “My hat's off to her... already she's found her own voice.”
Eri's tenth leader album, life, that is a generous new collection of unique songs, performed with her longstanding trio partners, bassist David Ambrosio and drummer Ikuo Takeuchi. As the album title suggest, the music portrays a wide range of her experiences- from joyful to introspective, reflecting the vibrancy of New York City and exploring mysteries of nature and memory. The Eri Yamamoto Trio has developed a unique sound and repertoire, and has built a loyal following in New York and abroad. They have toured the U. S., Canada, Australia, Europe, and Japan, with appearances at major festivals.
Eri has also developed a personal voice as a solo pianist, and has moved audiences with her renditions of her own compositions and her spontaneous improvisations.
Eri was born in Osaka, Japan, and began playing classical piano at age three. She started composing when only eight years old, and studied voice, viola, and composition through her high school and college years. In 1995, she visited New York for the first time, and by chance heard Tommy Flanagan performing. She was so inspired by her first experience of a jazz piano trio that she decided on the spot to move to New York and dedicate herself to learning jazz. Later that year, Eri entered the New School University's prestigious jazz program, where she studied with Reggie Workman, Junior Mance, and LeeAnn Ledgerwood. In 1999, while still in school, she started playing regularly at the Avenue B Social Club, a popular spot among jazz musicians in the East Village. There she developed a musical friendship with fellow pianist Matthew Shipp.